Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that is prevalent in six percent of the South African population and often goes undiagnosed. Our doctors offer vital information and advice on the disease.

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Can your lifestyle lead to diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can be treated when diagnosed early. If left untreated, warns Mediclinic Vergelegen endocrinologist Dr Elmo Pretorius, it can lead to kidney damage, heart disease and even stroke.

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A snapshot of diabetes in SA

There are 1,826,100 people living with diabetes in South Africa, according to the latest International Diabetes Federation research. The cases of diabetes in the country are rapidly rising.

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Protect your brain with optimal glucose control

Four hundred South Africans suffer a stroke daily: this is a medical emergency where the blood flow to a section of the brain is interrupted or diminished. What’s important is prompt treatment, which can limit damage to tissue that’s suffered a lack of oxygen and nutrients. Dr Rudi Renison, a neurologist in private practice at Mediclinic Cape Gate, explains.

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Prediabetes: Should you be screened for it?

While prediabetes is not a health condition in itself, says Mediclinic Vergelegen endocrinologist Dr Elmo Pretorius, it can be a sign that you are on the way to developing type 2 diabetes.

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Pregnant and diabetic? What you need to know..

Two situations can occur: a woman with pre-existing diabetes wants to have a baby or, diabetes presents itself during the pregnancy of an otherwise healthy mother (this is referred to as gestational diabetes). Dr Andre Diedericks, an Ob-Gyn at Mediclinic Bloemfontein, explains these two situations.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • To ensure sterility, our surgical instruments are twice wrapped in sterile fabric.
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  • We use a yacht-mast design for our cabling and keep it safely wound up in our trauma pedestals to avoid any accidents.
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  • To prevent harmful bacteria being absorbed by mattresses we use protective under sheets made from polypropylene.
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  • Trauma patients with a critically low temperature will often be wrapped in a space blanket to reduce heat loss.
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  • Our radio-translucent theatre beds enable X-rays to be taken on the spot, without having to move the patient or disturb the procedure.
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  • Our world-class neonatal units feature high frequency oscillatory ventilators to minimise lung trauma in premature babies.
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  • Immunisations save lives and help stop diseases from spreading.
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  • Our hospitals are designed to minimise ambient noise to promote sleeping and the healing process.
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  • Scrub areas in theatre are a minimum of 2.1m wide to accommodate at least two people at a time.
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  • Our hospitals did the first minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve implant procedure in Africa.
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Cardiology

Metabolic syndrome: why it could kill you

Metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X, is a perfect storm for increasing a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Diabetes

Six unexpected signs of kidney damage, and how to reverse it

According to Dr Riaan Flooks, a nephrologist at Mediclinic Bloemfontein, methods of identifying renal disease have advanced to allow for a much earlier diagnosis.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Our hospitals are designed to minimise ambient noise to promote sleeping and the healing process.
    #MediclinicFacts
  • To make the most of every second, we strive to synchronise all our clocks in the hospital.
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  • Nurses can observe patients at all times as critical care units are designed like a beehive with the nurses’ station in the middle.
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  • A baby weighing 390g survived thanks to the expertise of Mediclinic’s highly qualified paediatric staff and specialists.
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  • The only one in Africa and one of only 13 in the world, the P-I BrÅnemark Institute of Excellence at Mediclinic Morningside, specialises in facial reconstruction.
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  • We found a practical solution to a shortage of theatre nurses by becoming a registered teaching institution.
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  • Mediclinic is one of the three leading private hospital groups in Southern Africa and the sixth largest private healthcare group in the world.
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  • We monitor the temperature of our neonatal units as newborn babies are extremely sensitive to temperature change.
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  • The triage admission system in our emergency centres has been able to reduce mortality by up to 50%.
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  • Mediclinic Cape Town is accredited as a mother and baby friendly institution, having scored 100% at a recent external review.
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Diabetic retinopathy: technology improves screening to save lives

Medical advancements – including fundus cameras and artificial intelligence – offer hope for patients who may otherwise lose their sight (or even their lives) to diabetes.

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Are you at risk of diabetes?

Intermediate hyperglycaemia (impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance) is a ‘pre-diagnosis’ of diabetes. The good news is you can prevent Type 2 diabetes if you make considered lifestyle changes.

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Do you recognise the symptoms of diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition that inhibits your body’s ability to properly regulate blood glucose levels. The International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) estimates that in 2011 there were 14.7 million adult diabetics in Africa, and that around 78% of diabetics remain undiagnosed. According to the IDF the greatest increase in diabetes is expected to be in Africa – where it is predicted that the incidence of diabetes in Africa will have almost doubled by 2030.

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Skin patches could revolutionise glucose monitoring

Electrochemical analysis of sweat using soft bioelectronics on human skin provides a new route for non-invasive glucose monitoring without painful blood collection. However, sweat-based glucose sensing still faces many uncertainties.

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Technology treating diabetes

New tech makes life a whole lot easier for these people living with diabetes. Their devices could save your life – now, and in the future.

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The artificial pancreas is closer than we think

The end goal for the treatment of type 1 diabetes – the artificial pancreas – is an integrated, automated system that calculates how much insulin the body needs and then delivers it – in real time.

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Double trouble

Gestational diabetes is the most common medical complication during pregnancy and affects as many as one in 20, putting mother and baby at increased risk for birth trauma and other serious health concerns.

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Glucose intolerance and insulin-related conditions

We asked Dr Jacques van Staden, a GP at Mediclinic George who specialises in diabetes, about insulin-related conditions other than diabetes and how to spot them. The umbrella term for these conditions is glucose intolerance, meaning your body does not tolerate glucose well.

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Diabetes: a growing problem

The incidence of type 2 diabetes is on the rise, says Dr Jacques van Staden, a GP at Mediclinic George who specialises in diabetes. It is also striking people earlier on in their lives as they lead sedentary lifestyles and follow diets laden with starch. But there are ways that we can stop this epidemic in its tracks.

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Five myths about diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is one of the modern world’s fastest-growing diseases. But as it spreads, so too do the myths around it. Tracy Ugarchund, a dietician at Mediclinic Constantiaberg, sets the record straight.

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Delicious recipes to help lower your risk of diabetes

During Diabetes Awareness Month in November 2015, we ran a competition, asking you to select three magnesium-rich ingredients from our list of 12. Four entrants then had their ingredients turned into a delicious recipe by Abigail Donnelly and the overall winner’s recipe was featured on Expresso. Here are those recipes for you to download and try.

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